Meet the team
We are three British friends - Fraser, Amber and Beth - who founded Donate4Refugees in autumn 2016 in solidarity with refugees. We were devastated that European governments and international aid agencies were still failing to meet the most basic needs of refugees in Europe. It was clear that volunteers were needed now more than ever and we were compelled to help.
The idea for Donate4Refugees came after Amber volunteered with Refugee Support Greece at Camp Alexandreia.
"Whilst volunteering at Camp Alexandreia I was struck by how much responsibility lay with volunteer groups. There's ongoing volunteer recruiting and training, fundraising, collecting and receiving donated items, liaising with the army, NGOs and other parties, making good derelict spaces, ordering, stocking and distributing food, money management, maintaining warehouses, keeping vehicles running and more. Not to mention getting to know the people - the refugees - they were helping. One of the most important, but difficult and time-consuming activities, was fundraising. So this is where I saw the opportunity for a new charity - run in the UK - that could provide real help." ~ Amber
Amber, Beth and Fraser launched Donate4Refugees' first project in early October 2016. They secured the invaluable early support of friends and family as well as three business - Investigo Limited, Coupa Software and Thenga Cafe - and £1,000 was immediately funded, successfully launching the new charity which has gone on to fund a further 30 projects since.
"We decided to focus our attention on UK-based volunteers, at least to begin with, and aid being distributed within Europe. This is where we felt most strongly we could help. We also wanted to reach out to new donors, making supporting the crisis more accessible to those who wanted to help but perhaps weren't sure how." ~ Beth
"We clearly needed to support projects that would ultimately save lives, but it was also important to us to help refugees rebuild their lives by supporting projects for things like communication, education and community spaces. The longer they're stuck in one place, the harder and more monotonous life was becoming. We needed to help beyond survival." ~ Fraser
After volunteering in Alexandreia, Amber went on to be a volunteer with the Refugee Council in the UK, has been a host with Refugees at Home for nearly a year and continues to volunteer on-the-ground with the volunteer groups Donate4Refugees supports.